@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

An Alumni Publication   Archive vol1no3 Contact
Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Campus Currents: UCSD Stories
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Campaign Update: Imagine the Future
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors

On The Job: A
     Soldier's Story

Stem-Cell Revolution
Together We Achieve      the Extraordinary
Piano Playing Provost

Making Waves

Waves of Generosity
Masters of Disguise
The Pohutukawa Spirit
What's In A Name
Geisel in Other Guise
Water Wings
Couch Potato-thon
Cross Purpose


Up Front May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2

Letters to the Editor

I was pleased to see your article noting the remarkable longevity and accomplishments of Groundwork Books (Socialist Mission, January 2005 issue). I was one of the founding members, and am proud that it has survived all these years. There is a lot of history there, much of it undocumented. For example, there was a whole period when we did not have an office—the “new” student center where we were promised space was still under construction. Our solution was a large metal bookshelf on casters, which we stored in a closet in Muir Commons and awkwardly wheeled over to Revelle Plaza every day to sell books. Our overhead was low and it allowed us to build a community on campus. It’s beautiful to see the community still supporting an important alternative institution.

Lincoln Cushing, Muir, ’77

We enjoyed the Cha-Cha Challenge article in the January edition of the alumni magazine. My husband and I were partners on the original dance team (’89-’90). Since then we got married (1995) and had two children (now 2 and 5). And, we’re still dancing!
Thanks for helping us all keep in touch!

Cori Grimm, ERC, ’93
John Ourant, Revelle, ’90

In Cliff Notes the UCSD Dancesport team is said to have started as a recreational club in 1989. You may be interested to know that there was a ballroom dance recreational club back in 1975. I know, because I helped start it. We hired our own teacher from the club dues.

Alec G. Nedelman, Warren, ’77

Reading your article The Budget Rollercoaster on the continuing funding crisis for the UC system on the very day that America is spending $40 million (more than three times our initial offer of aid to victims of last month’s Tsunami) on the President’s second inauguration leaves me with two questions:
1. Where are our national priorities?
2. What price will our children pay for our decision to sacrifice our world class education system so we can finance overseas military ventures and lavish second-term inaugurations in Washington?

Ralph Verlohr, IR/PS, ’90

Professor Barbara Brody should certainly be featured and interviewed as a professor on campus. I originally attended UCSD in the 1980s, then dropped out. I returned in 1990 as a single mom (recently divorced) and 30 years old. During my first quarter, I went to her office hours and she asked me a few questions, then proceeded to tell me that I should consider grad school. Being the first in my family to even attend college, grad school was not on my horizon. She told me about taking the GRE and gave me the phone number of someone in the Career Center. She believed in me and most importantly made me believe in myself.

I took all of her classes (as Urban Studies was my major with an emphasis in public health). She always pushed me to do my best.
I ended up getting my masters degree from San Diego State and she was probably the biggest academic influence on me.

Kyra Randall, Marshall, ’92

John Wood was UCSD’s only journalism instructor, and he taught classes to those of us who wrote for Contact and the Triton Times (see January issue, page 5). John tried to teach us some fundamental writing and business skills at a time when we were rebellious hippies trying to communicate our counterculture values via traditional venues—a newspaper and a magazine. He even helped us with our campus government and, if my memory serves me, was more aligned with us student leaders than he was with the faculty and staff. He was a practical teacher when everyone else was pontificating about revolution. I actually learned something useful from him.

You have no idea how little sense of ‘Who are we?’ and ‘Why are we here?’ we had in those Quonset hut days. I could share stories about faculty moving to La Jolla being rejected by realtors, and attending Young Republicans Club as the only Republican student at all of UCSD. The latter nearly got me stoned to death by my dorm mates, while the local San Diegans asked what is such a nice girl like you going to a place like UCSD? (I became a Democrat after my freshman year.)

While it pleases me to see that UCSD has become so integral to San Diego and is so well accepted, the students no longer have the passion to fight for issues, as we did. They aren’t asking those hard questions any more.

Portia La Touche, Muir, ’72

I would be interested to know how many people shared my experience of having gone through marksmanship training at Camp Matthews while in the Marine Corps and then returned to the same site as a UCSD student. As recruits in 1961 we hiked part of the way from MCRD by the airport to Camp Matthews along a route I couldn’t identify today. We ate our meals in what became the (old) bookstore, slept in tents somewhere near the current site of the VA hospital, and shot at targets to the east of the campus (while living in graduate student housing in the early ’80s and I remember an ammunition bunker in that vicinity). Twenty years later, both the area and I had changed immeasurably. The smell of eucalyptus was no longer overpowered by that of gunpowder, and minds were at work on matters of creation of knowledge, not destruction of life.

William Brigham, M.A. ’83,
C.Phil ’89, Sociology

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